BHADARWAH, July 25:- Officials of Bhadarwah Forest Division (BFD) today seized a large amount of Wild Garlic (Allium Ursinum) after a group of individuals illegally harvested thousands of seedlings weighing 28 kgs from Bhallesa area of Doda district.
The Wild Garlic also known as Wood Garlic with a market price 7 lakh is believed to be a vulnerable species, was being smuggled to Punjab, said DFO Bhadarwah, Chander Shekhar.
According to reports, acting on specific information developed by Range Officer (RO), Chirala, Shafqat Khakaan Malik, regarding the rare herb being smuggled, a joint party of forest officials and police laid a naka at Thathri, 60 kms from here on Batote-Kishtwar National Highway.
“We have been getting information regarding smuggling of banned herbs to the neighbouring states. After receiving information about the consignment being smuggled to Amritsar, we informed SP Bhadarwah, Raj Singh Gouria and with the help of police, intercepted a passenger bus bearing registration number JK02BM-3195 and seized 28 kgs Allium Ursinum (Wild Garlic) in 3 gunny bags, “said DFO Bhadarwah, Chander Shekhar.
In this regard a case under Section 6 and 26 of Forest Act has been registered and the smuggler, who was carrying banned herb, identified as Arif Hussain, son of Mohammad Sultan a resident of Sanwara-Chilli of Gandoh has been detained, DFO added.
This is the major seizer, DFO said, adding Bhadarwah Forest is known for having a good concentration of Wild Garlic. It was during a sight visit that the excessive harvesting was noticed.
This was the 3rd operation of it’s kind this month as earlier 500 Kgs and 650 Kgs of Zakhm-e-Hayat (Bergenia Ciliata) worth 12 lakh was recovered while being smuggled to Chamba town of Himachal Pradesh on July 1st and July 11 simultaneously.
Woodland Garlic is still very popular. People illegally harvest from year to year, said Shafqat Khakaan Malik, Range Officer. It is a vulnerable species and offenders found guilty will have to pay heavy fines, he added.